Ukraine Strikes Back in Russian-occupied Melitopol
Ukraine Strikes Back in Russian-occupied Melitopol

Ukraine has attacked a barracks in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol with some Ukrainian sources claiming scores of Russian casualties.

According to witnesses 10 explosions were heard, although some of those may have been from Russian anti-aircraft systems. Ukrainian officials claimed scores of Russian dead and injured while Russia conceded a handful of casualties.

Video footage posted on social media showed what was claimed to be a Russian barracks in the southern city engulfed in a fierce blaze with some claiming the site was being used by the Wagner mercenary group.

Another video showed rescue workers in the ruins with several bodies visible.

The site, a former resort and hotel complex next to a church in the city known as the Hunter’s Halt, was being used as a barracks with most of the casualties apparently in a mess hall when it was hit.

The strike on Melitopol – reportedly with Himars rockets – was one of several overnight on Russian bases. Explosions were also reported overnight in the Russian occupied Crimea including Sevastopol and Simferopol.

The strike on Melitopol came as all non-critical infrastructure in the Ukrainian port of Odesa was without power after Russia used Iranian-made drones on Saturday to hit two energy facilities, leaving 1.5 million people cut off from electricity.

“The situation in the Odesa region is very difficult,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

“Unfortunately, the hits were critical, so it takes more than just time to restore electricity … It doesn’t take hours, but a few days, unfortunately.”

In Melitopol the pro-Moscow authorities said a missile attack on Saturday evening killed two people and injured 10, while the exiled Ukrainian mayor said scores of “invaders” were killed.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports of the attacks or deaths.

“Air defence systems destroyed two missiles, four reached their targets,” Yevgeny Balitsky, the Moscow-appointed governor of the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, said on the Telegram messaging app.

He said a “recreation centre” where people were dining was destroyed in the Ukrainian attack with Himars missiles.

The exiled mayor, Ivan Fedorov, said on his Telegram channel that the attack hit a church that Russians had turned into a gathering place.

Vladimir Rogov, another Moscow-installed official in the Russian-controlled part of Zaporizhzhia, said a fire caused by the strike engulfed the recreation centre. He posted a video of a structure in flames.

Himars multiple rocket launchers have been among Ukraine’s most effective weapons in the war, delivering precision fire on hundreds of targets, including Russian command posts. On Friday, the United States said it was sending more aid to Kyiv to strengthen its air defences and defeat drones.

Leave a comment